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Lysanda acquires Direct Line’s Tracker to establish telematics Tantalum Corporation

Lysanda, a provider of driver telematics for car insurers’ dynamically assessing risk and motor vehicle fleet managers at corporates, is buying the Tracker stolen vehicle recovery company, which uses GPS to locate and recover cars, from the UK’s Direct Line insurance group. 

The unpriced acquisition is due to complete this quarter, subject to regulatory approval, and will create the Tantalum Corporation. With expected revenues of approximately £20m and 500,000 in-car telematics installations throughout Europe, the rationale behind the move is to combine Lysanda’s business-to-business (B2B) customer base with Tracker’s existing business-to-consumer (B2C) sales reach.

The purchase is being funded by existing Lysanda investors, including the Sustainable Technology Fund, Rockhopper Investments and Disruptive Capital Finance, but the sale of Tracker by Direct Line is somewhat surprising considering that Tom Woolgrove, managing director of the personal lines business at the large UK insurer, was recently quite keen on telematics at a recent Association of British Insurers (ABI) press conference to unveil a new quarterly motor insurance premium tracker product. The price must have made the sale attractive enough for him to authorise it, but full financial details of the deal have not been revealed.  

Commenting on the acquisition, Cédriane de Boucaud, chief executive officer (CEO) of the newly formed Tantalum Corporation, said: “Tracker has tremendous depth and experience in managing a very large, real-time customer base and has a highly complementary product range that Lysanda can leverage, combining VHF and GPS-based technologies. Our customers want both in-production and after-market solutions and Tracker is very experienced in delivering to both the business and consumer market places.”  

According to Stephen Doran, managing director of Tracker, the firm is well-known in the UK, serving consumers, corporates and insurance customers. “This is a highly complementary merger as Lysanda has the innovation and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationships that we need to continue our recent developments in fleet and insurance telematics. This will position the new Tantalum Corporation entity [where Doran will remain -Ed] as one of the UK’s most advanced and scalable telematics company.”